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Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP Represents Injured Family in Lawsuit for St. David's Hospital Crash

Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP

Previously in our blog, Howry Breen & Herman, LLP discussed the KXAN Investigates “Preventing Disaster” series that focused on a fatal hospital crash at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center in February 2024. A driver drove through the front doors of the medical center, which were not protected by traffic security measures like bollards. The crash took his life and seriously injured five people, including the entire Bernard family, who we are proudly representing in their injury claims. In this entry, we return to the series, which recently reported on the lawsuit that we officially filed on behalf of the Bernard family. (To read the full KXAN “Preventing Disaster” article, you can click here to visit the newsgroup’s official website.)

Details of the St. David’s HealthCare Lawsuit

As first reported by KXAN, our attorneys, led by Austin Trial Attorney Sean Breen, filed a 25-page lawsuit against St. David’s HealthCare. In the complaint, we argue that the medical group could have prevented the fatal St. David’s North Austin Medical Center through the simple and relatively low-cost installation of several bollards or vertical traffic security barriers outside the front door of the clinic. The same bollards are found in front of other St. David’s HealthCare properties throughout Texas, so we argue that the defendant understood the inherent risks of not having them installed.

Specifically, we have accused St. David’s HealthCare of “gross negligence” that put the Bernard family and other guests at the St. David’s Noth Austin Medical Center emergency department in unnecessary and preventable danger. Hundreds of storefront crashes happen around the country each year, including many in Texas and involving medical centers, so the risks that occur without bollards reasonably should have been known by the defendant. By not taking the steps to prevent that risk, we argue that the defendant was grossly negligent in its duty to protect patients and guests. Also, St. David’s installed the bollards after the crash, which further indicates an understanding of how bollards significantly mitigate the risks of storefront crashes.

On behalf of the Bernand family, all of whom were severely injured in the hospital entrance crash, including two young children, we are seeking more than $1,000,000. The damages cover everything from extensive medical bills, wages the Bernard parents lost due to being unable to work while seriously injured, pain and suffering, and more. We are hopeful that the defendant will be compelled to offer a fair settlement offer that will allow our clients to begin recovering from this disaster that should have been easily avoided. If no such settlement is offered through negotiations, everyone at Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP will be ready to represent the Bernards in courtroom litigation.

About More Than Money

Every dollar owed to the Bernards is important, but the lawsuit we have filed on their behalf is about more than money. We are hopeful that the lawsuit will also act as a catalyst that starts wide-sweeping parking lot safety throughout Texas and perhaps even the country, as we discussed in our last blog entry.

“Plaintiffs have filed this case to encourage St. David’s and all hospitals to quit waiting for accidents to happen and construct safety barriers now at their emergency rooms before more people are hurt by vehicle intrusions, a very common incident,” we included in the lawsuit.

When KXAN news investigators reached out to St. David’s HealthCare about the lawsuit after we filed it. The healthcare group only reiterated statements from a previous press release that stated that “the safety of our patients and their families, as well as our employees and visitors, is always our top priority.” While it is encouraging to hear such statements, we believe it is better to know that change will happen by pushing for it through both litigation and legislation.

“For my clients, the fact that this happened to them is completely unacceptable,” Attorney Sean Breen told KXAN Investigates. “They’re still dealing with it. It was totally unnecessary. It was totally preventable. And, what they really, really want is for nobody else to have to go through what they’ve gone through.”

Visit the official KXAN Investigates “Preventing Disaster” series webpage to learn more about this ongoing story: Don’t forget to visit our blog often for more updates about the St. David’s North Austin Medical Center lawsuit, too. If you want to know more about Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP and our Austin personal injury attorneys, you are always welcome to call (512) 430-4844 or use an online contact form to request a no-cost, no-obligation case review. Thank you.

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